North America

America’s Turkey Problem Finally Comes to a Head

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This week brought signs that the deeply flawed status quo of U.S.-Turkish relations has begun to crack. Matthew RJ Brodsky National Review For successive administrations, inertia may have kept the flawed status quo of U.S.–Turkey relations in place, but the train appears finally to be running out of track. It was bound to happen eventually, regardless of the Trump administration’s just-announced decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish cabinet officials in response to Turkey’s continued detention of an… And now ... Read More »

NATO is a Goldmine for the US/Military Industrial Complex

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley CounterPunch It’s got nothing to do with any defense rationale, because the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the… Even Radio Free Europe, the US government’s official broadcaster, acknowledged that “Russia, one of the world’s top military spenders, ... Read More »

5 lessons from Team Obama to save Europe

US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech ion Chicago on November 7, 2012. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD / AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS — With next year’s European Parliament election shaping up as a showdown between pro-EU parties and Euroskeptics, the race is on for both sides to find a winning edge. Zachary Young Politico For the pro-EU camp, one possible source of inspiration lies in Barack Obama’s successful U.S. presidential campaigns, which managed twice to win majorities for liberal and outward-looking policies. In the past year, French President Emmanuel Macron has portrayed himself as the great champion of the EU and further ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1A85E69100

Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. Annie Lowrey The Atlantic Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’s lone hectobillionaire. He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 ... Read More »

Trump escalates attacks on Mueller probe

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President Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately stop the Russia investigation, a significant escalation of Trump’s attacks against the long-running probe that has dogged his presidency. Jordan Fabian The Hill The remark was Trump’s most direct public appeal yet to end special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, which he has blasted for months. It also raised questions from legal experts about whether the president was attempting to obstruct justice. In a series of morning tweets, Trump ... Read More »

Brexit: champagne, parmesan, prosecco and feta could soon be at the centre of negotiations

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As Brexit day creeps closer, one issue that remains unresolved is the way that food names will be protected in Britain and the EU. Authors: The Conversation From parmesan and feta to cornish pasties and Bavarian beer, the EU is fiercely protective over protected designations of origin (PDOs) or protected geographical indications (PGIs). A number of highly popular products are protected under this legal framework that dictates certain products can only be produced in certain regions. So champagne must be ... Read More »

The Latest: Trump claims Americans need IDs to buy groceries

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump The Associated Press President Donald Trump is wrongly claiming that Americans need photo IDs to buy groceries as he rails against the idea of noncitizens voting. Trump was advocating for voter ID requirements at a Tampa, Florida, rally on Tuesday when he claimed the only time people don’t need ID is when they want to vote. He says: “If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a ... Read More »

What Turkey’s Political Changes Mean for U.S.-Turkish Relations

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The July 9 swearing-in of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his second term as Turkey’s president—and his subsequent decree1 thoroughly restructuring the Turkish government—have inaugurated a new phase in the… By Max Hoffman, Alan Makovsky, and Michael Werz Center for American Progress Erdoğan will preside over a new system in which power is even more centralized in the office of the presidency than it was previously. Of course, this structure represents the institutionalization of what had been a de facto reality: ... Read More »

NATO: the Unexamined Alliance

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The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump’s bombast, but the “Summit Declaration” makes for sober reading. Conn Hallinan CounterPunch The media reported that the 28-page document “upgraded military readiness,” and was “harshly critical of Russia,” but there was not much detail beyond that. But details matter, because that is where the Devil hides. One such detail is NATO’s “Readiness Initiative” that will beef up naval, air and ground forces in “the eastern ... Read More »

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... Read More »

The Australian Government can save Julian Assange

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Julian Assange is an Australian. He is in trouble overseas.  He needs the Australian government’s help. Julian Burnside For six years he has been virtually a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.  The reason he is there is because he is the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, which published evidence of war crimes leaked by an American soldier, Bradley (later Chelsea) Manning as a matter of conscience. WikiLeaks has since revealed the secrets of the world’s unaccountable forces. This ... Read More »

Donald Trump’s media attacks are ‘dangerous and undermining democracy’

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Bridgewater: The publisher of the New York Times said Sunday that had warned US President Donald Trump that his attacks on journalists as the “enemy of the people” could lead to violence. Philip Rucker WAtoday Washington Post Trump tweeted on Sunday that he met at the White House with publisher A.G. Sulzberger, with the President explaining to Sulzberger why he was increasingly characterising journalists as the “enemy of the people.” The tweet prompted Sulzberger to release details of the July 20 meeting, at which ... Read More »

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley Strategic Culture Foundation It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 ... Read More »

Rightwing UK thinktank ‘offered ministerial access’ to potential US donors

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A rightwing thinktank has been offering potential US donors access to government ministers and civil servants as it raises cash for research to support the free-trade deals demanded by hardline Brexiters, according to an… Robert Booth The Guardian The director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was secretly recorded telling an undercover reporter that funders could get to know ministers on first-name terms and that his organisation was in “the… Mark Littlewood claimed the IEA could make introductions to ... Read More »

Iran’s currency plunges to record low as US sanctions loom

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Rial has lost half its value since April amid weak economy and big demand for dollars by Iranians fearful of sanctions. AlJazeera Iran’s currency has plunged to another record low, dropping past 100,000 rials to the US dollar, as Iranians brace for August 7 when the United Statesis due to reimpose the first batch of sanctions on their economy. In May, Washington pulled out of a landmark 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted in ... Read More »

Supreme Court fight becomes battle for Kavanaugh’s papers

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The Senate fight over documents related to President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court is boiling over. By JORDAIN CARNEY The Hill Trump pick Brett Kavanaugh, a circuit judge since 2006 who previously worked for President George Bush’s administration and Kenneth Starr’s investigation, has a voluminous paper trail that lawmakers estimate tops a million pages. Democrats want to see as many of those papers as they can, while Republicans seeking to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections favor a… Supreme Court fight… Read More »